Filipino students’ creativity scores linked to poor nutrition

MANILA — The latest international test results have revealed alarmingly low creativity among Filipino students, a situation that Representative Bernadette “BH” Herrera of the Bagong Henerasyon Party-list attributes to poor maternal health and nutrition.

“As the Representative of Bagong Henerasyon Party-list, I deeply lament the newly revealed international test results point to low creativity among Filipino students,” Herrera said, emphasizing the gravity of the issue.

The Philippines is in the bottom four of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test on creative thinking, a test designed to measure students’ ability to create and improve upon ideas.

The results indicate that only 3% of 15-year-old Filipino students match the creative thinking skills of the average student in Singapore, which topped the rankings.

“Occasional anecdotal accounts of child prodigies will not suffice to shine a light strong enough to overcome the darkness that has long befallen basic education in our country,” Herrera said.

She highlighted the critical role of maternal health in fostering creativity among students.

“The nutrition problem does not start at Kindergarten. The problems start from the moment of conception in the wombs of mothers of poor maternal health. It is in the wombs of healthy women where we must build the defenses of our nation’s progress.”

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has already taken a significant step by including pregnant women and nursing mothers among the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) beneficiaries. However, Herrera believes more needs to be done. She proposed four crucial components to address this issue:

  1. Full Implementation of the Reproductive Health Law
  2. Expansion of PhilHealth Maternal and Infant Care Benefits
  3. Improving Public Day Care Services
  4. Expansion of Public School Feeding Programs to Include Public Day Care

“With these four measures, the need to ensure healthy nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child can be addressed,” Herrera stated.

She also urged the leadership of the House and the Senate to prioritize a Social Action agenda that includes these components.

Healthy nutrition is seen as a foundational element in nurturing the creative abilities of students, starting from maternal health and extending through early childhood development.


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